RE: “Replacements: The Breakup That Shook Grant Park” | Chicago Tribune
4th of July 2016 is special. It’s is the 25th anniversary of the breakup of The Replacements.
These were regular guys who figured out that American punk—which, like America disco, was among the first music of the post-industrial era—could not burn so brightly for very long.
So they focused their otherwise broken lives and prodigious talent on what would come next.
The Talking Heads did the same thing, too. But whereas their post-punk would be rhythmic and cerebral, The Replacements’ brand of post-punk would be anarchic and basal. Brilliant and basement. Sentimental with a middle finger to your bullsh*t nostalgia for when America was “great.”
(Indeed, any history of the American pop song has a chapter towards the end titled something like “Paul Westerberg,” or it’s not worth reading.)
Theirs is music for people from broken homes. People without fathers. People who weren’t much to look at. People raised by their grandparents. People born analog but grown up digital.
Songs like “Bastards Of Young” and “Left Of The Dial,” saw Generation X as it truly was before anyone else did.
The Replacements understood us as people who’d try and fail but would learn more from the failing than the trying. People who because of all this would make their own myths.
People who at some point in life became sadly beautiful, and never let that go.
IMAGE SOURCE: The Replacements-Tossin and Turnin | YouTube